The Problems of Contemporary PhilosophyA Critical Guide for the Unaffiliated
The Problems of Contemporary Philosophy
A Critical Guide for the Unaffiliated

This accessible new book provides a clear and wide-ranging introduction to the defining problems of contemporary philosophy. Its unique feature is to focus on problems that cut across the established divide between analytic and continental philosophical traditions. Instead of segregating the two traditions, as is usually done, the authors offer a critical orientation and guide for readers who are not exclusively affiliated with either approach and who want to understand the increasingly shared questions philosophers are asking and addressing today.

Each chapter starts with a fundamental overarching question: (1) What and how can we know? (2) What is the structure of the world? (3) What goes beyond the physical world? (4) What is to be done? (5) What does it mean to orient oneself philosophically? Under these headings, the authors critically examine the disciplines most fundamental problems. Their approach reveals deep and unexpected connections across the analytic/continental divide, and opens up new ways of thinking about critique itself. No other book about contemporary philosophy is as comprehensive and cosmopolitan.

<i>The Problems of Contemporary Philosophy</i> provides newcomers and seasoned philosophers alike with an entertaining, engaging, and far-reaching portrait of todays philosophical landscape. It is an exemplary instance of thinking across and beyond the analytic/continental divide.

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  • December 2015
  • 224 pages
  • 158 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745670294
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9780745670300
  • Open eBook $22.00
  • 9781509501441
Table of Contents


1. Phenomenology and Epistemology

How Do We Know What We Know?

2. Ontology, Logic, and Philosophy of Language

What is the Structure of the World?

3. Metaphysics

What Goes Beyond the Physical World?

4. Metaethics, Ethics, and Politics

What is to be Done?

5. Metaphilosophy, Aesthetics, and Critique

What Does it Mean to Orient Ourselves Philosophically?

About the Author

Paul M. Livingston is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico. He has published widely on the history of twentieth century philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and phenomenology. He is the author of three previous books, most recently The Politics of Logic (Routledge, 2011).

Andrew Cutrofello is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of four books, including Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2005).

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"This unique book is a breath of fresh air. The authors manage to introduce many central philosophical questions while also reflecting on how these questions manifest themselves in the analytic and continental traditions. In doing this, they manage to give a philosophically intelligible account not only of the important philosophical differences between analytic and continental approaches, and also of how the two traditions share certain crucial concerns. To the best of my knowledge, there is no book around at the moment that manages to be an introduction to philosophy in both traditions. Clearly written, highly informative and original, I recommend this book very strongly."
Tim Crane, University of Cambridge

"Drawing extensively on both the analytic and continental traditions, as well as on the whole history of philosophy, Livingstone and Cutrofello masterfully articulate the current state of philosophy’s most basic problems. Every philosopher working today needs to read this bookÑand their students need it even more."
John McCumber, UCLA

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